Author: Katie O'Connor

Review: Gun Runners

Gun Runners is an inspiring and incredible story which follows two notorious warriors and former cattle rustlers in Northern Kenya who give up their weapons to run in marathons. As part of a government sponsored program to disarm in conflict heavy regions, these once notorious warriors are given a chance to pursue their dreams of becoming professional marathon runners. The film follows Matanda and Arile, who are looking to put their violent pasts behind them and pursue a positive path that will benefit the future of their family, livelihood and this conflict ridden region of Kenya. The audience is...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Mali Blues

Mali Blues centres around Mali-born world musician, Fatoumata Diawara through her dark past which has influenced her irreplaceable passion for music. The documentary follows her through writing and rehearsing for her first ever concert in her home country Mali for the Festival of Niger 2015. German Director Lutz Gregor captures a stunning music culture in Mali where the blues thrives. The country’s hardships are the experiences of these musicians. As creators of artistic expression, they have been violently threatened and ordered to leave the country due to their songs of protest and activism against radical Islamics. Fataoumata and her fellow...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Short Cuts Programme 9

This year’s Short Cuts Programme 9 may be one of the most pressing, riskiest and surreal programmes at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. We see the struggle of young motherhood, delusional ideas of what life is meant to be, falling in lust with a snake, a reserve at odds with the mining industry, an unimpressed daughter, and two lovers leaving their old lives behind and transiting to their next life stage on their own. What we can see these shorts have in common is the struggle to find solace, normality and maybe even sanity in everyday life. This selection...

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TIFF 2016 Review: Mostly Sunny

Karenjit Kaur Vohr, a.k.a. Sunny Leone, is a famous Bollywood actress with an enormous fan following. One of the reasons for her immense success as an entertainer is her being a former porn star. As a prominent Bollywood actress, Karenjit has built an unconventional yet notable career. As a former adult film star, her transition into the Bollywood film industry came unblemished. she certainly does have a reputation the brand of Sunny Leone but she proves she has been about to evolve and push her career in a way that would gain her more exposure in the world’s largest...

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Review: Up For Love

Up For Love begins with Diane (Virginie Efira), a young successful lawyer getting home from work and receiving a phone call. The call is from a man who has found her cell phone. The male caller teases her about knowing that her former lover has been calling her for the last few hours. Diane tries to dismiss this and continues speaking to this mystery man. She is taken by this charming male caller and upon his offer for them to meet, she readily accepts. As a newly single woman, Diane puts on her nicest dress and struts her way to...

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Review: Hooligan Sparrow

Hooligan Sparrow begins with director, Nanfu Wang being confronted by a group of men who notice her camera. We then are introduced to seeing how she will be hiding her recording equipment underneath her clothing. This begins her journey of observing the life of Ye Haiyan, a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow. Sparrow is a women’s rights and human rights activist in China. The film introduces past forms of her activism using transgressive acts to bring forth pertinent issues in the socio-politial structure of China. At one point in her career of activism, she was offering free sex to migrant workers to bring...

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Review: Lord Jones is Dead

Lord Jones is Dead begins with two rival journalists, Samuel (Chad Krawchuck, Man of Steel) and Vincent (Daniel Janks, Ali) waiting outside the house for a young woman who is believed to be having an affair with a government minister. Joining them is photographer Clive (Jonathan Pienaar, Blood Diamond), there to get a picture of the girl. The three wait outside what they believe is the right house while often asking, “Is that her?” While on a dead-end and pointless assignment the trio kill time by critiquing the profession of journalism, smoking, reading the news and mulling over sexual relationships and news room crushes....

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